French President Macron phones UK PM Johnson, NATO ahead of Russia and Ukraine visits

French President Macron phones UK PM Johnson, NATO ahead of Russia and Ukraine visits
2 min read
05 February, 2022
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO head Jens Stoltenberg ahead of his Moscow and Kiev visits, amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to visit both Moscow and Kiev, as the Ukraine crisis continues [Getty]

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO head Jens Stoltenberg about the Ukraine crisis on Saturday ahead of travelling to Moscow and Kiev, his office said.

The separate telephone conversations took place "in the context of constant consultation between allies on the subject of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia," the Elysee Palace said.

With Stoltenberg, Macron insisted on "the need to continue working to find through dialogue a path to de-escalation, in unity, the full respect of fundamental principles of European security, the sovereignty of states," the Elysee added.

The French leader will attempt to make progress on the issue during meetings with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday and with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Tuesday.

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The Elysee said Stoltenberg "saluted this approach" and "thanked the president for the close coordination between the allies ahead of his trip."

Johnson meanwhile filled Macron in on his visit to Kyiv this week, where the British premier described Russian forces massed on the Ukrainian border as a "clear and present danger" to Ukraine.

Western capitals have accused Russia of amassing some 100,000 troops on the borders of pro-Western Ukraine in preparation for an invasion and have vowed to impose devastating sanctions on Moscow if it attacks.

Macron, Stoltenberg and Johnson pledged to stay in close contact over the coming days as Macron steps up his diplomatic push.

The Elysee said Macron also took the chance to discuss with Johnson the thorny issue of cross-Channel migration after a record of more than 51,000 people tried to cross to the UK from France last year, with more than 28,000 succeeding, according to British data.